This unique trek features two of the finest examples of Inca architecture: Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. Choquequirao is larger than Machu Picchu and there is not much known. It is more reclusive and you will feel as you are the first to discover it. Due to its remote location, Choquequirao (“cradle of gold”) receives fewer visitors. Nestled on a prominent ridge overlooking the chasm created by the Apurímac River, this mythical city must have rivaled Machu Picchu in terms of beauty. It was explored briefly by Hiram Bingham in his search for Vilcabamba. After a fantastic time continue to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. This is a perfect alternative to the Inca Trail but a tough one. If, you are an experienced hiker in fit condition, then this is the trek for you.
Note: The Huanipaca route is closed until further notice.
***This is a rigorous trek and recommended for fit people only.
If you want to ease the trek a bit then we can add 1 or 2 days.
Note: Trekperu operates its own treks with a minimum of 2 persons.
Arrive in the airport and our staff will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Rest and enjoy an early lunch. In the afternoon we will start the tour of the city of the Incas. Walk on the cobble stone streets visiting the Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas and Qoricancha (Inca Sun Temple). Afterwards, drive above the city, to visit the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Q'enqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. Return to Cusco.
Overnight in Cusco
No meals included
Note: If you choose Private Service (more expensive but worth it) - Pick your departure time, exclusive visit to the Central San Pedro Market where the locals shop, at your pace, and drop off at your hotel.
In the morning we will take off from your hotel and drive to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first visit will be of the Pisac ruins (2972m/9751ft) admiring the numerous agricultural terraces and the ruins. Then drive down to the town of Pisac and shop in the artisan market with many stalls selling many colorful handicrafts. Thereafter, we drive to Urubamba to have a delicious buffet lunch. After lunch, we continue to one of the original Inca towns of Ollantaytambo (2792m/9160ft) built by the Inca Pachacutec. Visit the archeological site which has many structures such as the Temple of the Sun and more. Our final visit will be of the quaint town of Chinchero (3772m/12375ft) with the remains of what was the royal hacienda of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, as well as a beautiful colonial temple built on Inca foundations. Return to Cusco.
Overnight in Cusco
Breakfast and lunch included
Note: If you choose Private Service (more expensive but worth it) - Pick your departure time, exclusive visit of the Awanacancha weaving center, Pisac sun temple, and enjoy the have a more in depth visit of the ruins, stops for pictures, and at your pace.
We depart early in the morning heading northwest of Cusco (3300m/10800ft) in the direction of Cachora (2909m/9543ft) for 4 hours drive. In Cachora you will have the opportunity to stop and stretch or a rest room stop. Continue our drive to Capuliyoc (2915m/561ft) with lovely views of the Apurimac Valley stretched out in front of us. Here we meet the Mule handlers with their mules that will carry all the camping equipment during the expedition. From here, we will walk down a steep trail to the Apurimac Canyon taking in spectacular views as we descend to Chiquisca (1836m/6023ft), with breathtaking views. After an hour we arrive at the roaring Apurimac River (1550m/5084ft) where we begin to climb to Santa Rosa (2200m/7215ft), our next campsite.
Hiking time: 7 - 8 hours
Meals: L, D
After an early breakfast we start our early hike to avoid the hot sun. Our walk starts with a tough uphill climb from Santa Rosa to Marampata (3110m/10120ft) which will take about 3 hours. We will take a break here and have our first view of the Choquequirao ruins. From here we hike another 2 hours to the archeological site and to our campsite (3110m/10120ft) nearest to the ruins where we will have lunch. After lunch, we head to the Choquequirao complex for the afternoon. We will begin to explore the area, and then see the sunset and keep our fingers crossed for the chance to see condors. Only around 40% of the Inca remains of Choquequirao have been excavated. What can be seen today however, is most impressive and very much worth the challenging trek to get here. The stonework in Choquequirao is not as sophisticated as that found in Machu Picchu, because the stone found here is very difficult to carve, but the buildings are impressive and suggest a site of high status. Choquequirao evokes a sense of awe simply because of the sites’ surrounding beauty and isolation and condors can be seen frequently soaring the skies.
Return to our campsite for dinner and to relax under the many stars above us.
Hiking time: 5 hours
Meals: B, L, D
After an early breakfast we start our hike. We will descend down to La Playa Rosalina (1550m/5085ft) for about 4 hours by the banks of the Apurimac River. Enjoy a break by the river and admire the surroundings. Afterwards, we hike up to our campsite at Chiquisca (1836m/6023ft) for about 3 hours. Enjoy the subtropical surroundings and tranquility of the area.
Hiking: 6 hours
Meals: B, L, D
After Breakfast, we will ascend about 2 hours to Capuliyoc (2915m/9561ft) where our transport will be waiting to take us to Cachora and continue our drive to Ollantaytambo for about 4 hours. We can walk around the village before boarding the tourist train to Machupicchu Town to spend the night in a comfortable hostel.
Hiking: 5 hours
Driving distance: 4 hours
Overnight in Aguas Calientes
Meals: B, L
Pick up in the early morning to take the bus up to the magical Sanctuary. Enjoy a professional guided walking tour of the grand Machu Picchu (2400m/7874ft). Visit the extraordinary Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Three Windows and much more. After a glorious, eye and mind opening visit with your guide enjoy some time at leisure to further explore the mystical grounds feeling the positive energy that abounds the area which has withstood time. Then return by bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch (on your own) before boarding the expedition train to Poroy. You will be met at the train station by our staff and private transfer to your hotel in Cusco.
Overnight in Cusco
Today we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Lima or other destination.
End of Services.